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France's Macron to reshuffle government after parliament win

20 Juin 2017

The party that Mr Macron, 39, founded 14 months ago has caused a political natural disaster, despite its 350-seat tally being lower than the 470 predicted by some polls.

The newly elected French National Assembly will be the most diverse ever, with younger and more ethnically diverse MPs.

The turnout hit a new record low of just 43%, offering Le Pen the opportunity to question the legitimacy of the new parliament and the strength of the support Macron has received.

The winning score was lower than forecast during the past week when some estimates suggested REM and its allies could secure as many as 470 seats.

"You could take a goat and give it Macron's endorsement and it would have good chance of being elected", political analyst Christophe Barbier joked recently.

In a letter to European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, French PM Philippe said that the new majority "embodies a France that is resolutely modern and determined to fall within a strong European future".

President Emmanuel Macron immediately reappointed Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and asked him to form a new cabinet, Macron said in a statement.

The ministry said the far-right National Front was in third place with almost 10% followed by the Socialists with 6.2%.

"We are the only force of resistance to the dilution of France, of its social model and its identity", Le Pen said, claiming the mainstream opposition parties were but "satellites" of the Macron power structure.

Le Pen said she would "fight with all necessary means the harmful projects of the government", especially what she called Macron's pro-European, pro-migrant policies.

After five years of Socialist Party rule, in which former President Francois Hollande failed to meet his objectives of reducing unemployment and giving a boost to the flagging economy, the French were depressed and downbeat.

But with his twin victories in last month's presidential election and Sunday's parliamentary vote, he has routed the old political class. "The president of the Republic has all the powers", Jean-Christophe Cambadelis said after announcing he would step down as Socialist Party chief.

They include 27-year-old Rwandan orphan Herve Berville, who cruised to victory in the western region of Brittany, and woman bullfighter Marie Sara, who came within 100 votes of unseating senior FN figure Gilbert Collard in southern France.

France's traditional left and right wing parties fared less well in the election. It was forecast to win only between 10 and 30 seats.

Macron's En Marche! and his centre-right allies from MoDem made off with about 360 seats in the country's parliament.

A record-low turnout marred the vote with far less than France's 47.5 million eligible voters bothering to cast ballots amid widespread disillusionment with politics and voter fatigue following several roller coaster campaigns and voting.

France's Macron to reshuffle government after parliament win